T10 League: Cricket’s new ‘Shortest’ format
New format excites veterans, but PCB backs off its support.
The United Arab Emirates is all set to introduce a new ten-over-a-side cricket tournament which will feature exciting international stars such as Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shakib-al-Hasan, Virender Sehwag, Kumar Sangakkara, and Chris Gayle. It will span over four days; starting on the 21st of December and ending on the 24th.
Dubbed the “T10 league”, the tournament will feature ninety minute long matches, with teams called Peshawar Pakhtoons, Kerala Kings, Bengal Tigers, Colombo Lions and Punjab Legends and Maratha Arabians.
After the massive success of the Twenty 20 format, first introduced in 2003; which helped grow the popularity of the sport across the globe, the new league’s president Salman Iqbal has high hopes for this new format. He believes that this style of cricket is familiar to all South Asians; who normally refer to it as “street cricket”. “This will give more fire to cricket and will be a big step forward and people will definitely enjoy it,” said Iqbal.
Retired international players Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi have also expressed excitement regarding the tournament’s new format. They believe that the new format is well suited towards aging players who cannot afford to play long, drawn out, physically demanding games. “It is an exciting idea and a good thing for players like me,” said 43-year-old veteran and ex Pakistan captain Misbah. “It will need just ten overs of batting and then fielding and at this age I can afford that.” Players such as Eoin Morgan have also predicted that the new format will have a large impact on international cricket, and may change the way cricket is played in the shorter formats.
The Pakistan Cricket Board; however, has decided not to support the league after being pressured by PSL (Pakistan Super League) franchises. PCB chairman Najam Sethi has stated that national players will not be allowed to participate in the tournament because of the possible negative impact it might have on the PSL. The T10 league’s schedule might also clash with the schedule of the PSL; however, the PCB has made it clear that the PSL will be held according to its pre-planned schedule, and no changes will be made.